Per gunther is not a basketball player who holds back his sometimes critical opinion. The fact that he and numerous other bundesliga professionals are being kept in a tightly closed-off hotel in munich for the final tournament starting this weekend is not a problem for the ex-national player.
But gunther has already experienced quite different things. "For eleven years in a row, i spent weeks touring romanian two-star hotels with national youth teams," says the 32-year-old from ratiopharm ulm.
Saturday ulm starts championship tournament with nine other teams. The players will be quartered in a four-star hotel near the olympic center for about three weeks. Gunther expects a bumpy start. At the moment, he says, expectations are not as high as usual. "It feels like there’s less pressure because it’s bizarre conditions for high athletic performance."Ulm plays three games in five days, preparation was short. There is no perfect solution, he is convinced. Games over several weeks with several days break he had found less good.
The 32-year-old was initially critical of the tournament, according to the defendant. "I didn’t really understand how that could be feasible."National players such as berlin’s niels giffey and frankfurt’s akeem vargas also expressed doubts that many professionals felt they were not sufficiently involved in the league’s plans.
Gunther sees but also the financially strained situation of the clubs. Meanwhile, the tournament is more feasible than it seemed to him before. Generally, it’s a comfortable situation for the players compared to many others in society.
Gunther is considered a favorite of the public and is valued for his opinions. To help the club, gunther and his teammates waived part of their salary during the corona interruption. Only on wednesday, he drew attention to himself with a tweet in which he motivated bundesliga players to take a stand against racism: "the first 10.000 in fines are on me."BBL managing director stefan holz had initially declared that protests were forbidden. In the meantime, however, the BBL boss has retracted the statement.
The games in munich will take place without fans. The hygiene concept also prohibits family and friends from visiting the hotel. Boredom should not come up: normally the ulm team prepares for the next opponent for a week – now it is partly a day. "I think outsiders underestimate how much program we have," says gunther. In addition to the games and the analysis of the opponents, there will be joint breakfasts, preparatory and follow-up work and training sessions.
Ulm plays its first game against defending champions FC bayern munchen. Before the interruption of the season, bayern were first, ulm tenth. Gunther does not see his team without a chance due to the bumpy preparation caused by the corona crisis. In the league, the munich team had won the last duel 83:69. Teammate thomas klepeisz also believes in a win. He and coach jaka lakovic see point guard gunther as a leader who should help with his experience. "He will be an important part of organizing our offense," says lakovic.
Gunther is looking forward to meeting friends from other teams at the bar in the evenings. Teammate patrick heckmann wants to take card games and playstation with him. "Not very exciting, what I take with me. These are things I can’t do otherwise as a father of two," he says, making do with books and uncredited tv shows.
During the month-long break, he became a father for the second time and finished his studies in business psychology. Gunther liked to catch the right moment when it came to the end of his career. "My role is smaller, my athletic output is smaller, but I still feel like I can decide games.".